Few days back, I spent time at the Dompe District Hospital (a modest 100 bed hospital where people go for clinic visits but not for surgery) observing the impressive progress made in re-engineering work processes and introducing ICTs. The story is well told in Roar.lk. All the doctors worked with laptops and barcode readers. Each patient presents a barcode.
Every few months (or longer, depending on whether I am in the country) I serve on judging panels for a televised debating competition run by a private TV channel. Today, the topic was one that we had actually done research on: “mobile phones have positive effects on the efficiency of daily life.” The proponents had done their home work and were citing Jensen’s Kerala study, Aker’s Niger research and so on. To beat back the opposition, they were citing the Danish cancer study and so on. They could have cited our work that directly dealt with the subject, but I was not going to hold it against them.
The findings of the jute study conducted in Bangladesh under LIRNEasia’s 2010-2012 research cycle were shared with stakeholders in Dhaka on 9 April 2012. The dissemination workshop was attended by high level representatives from the government agencies such as Bangladeshi Agriculture Research Institute, the Jute Research Institute as well as representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Bangladesh and private organisations. The findings brought a lively debate about the prevailing issues in the jute industry such as the quality of the seeds in the market and retting techniques as well the quality of the jute produced. There was also discussion about the use of Information and communication technology such as mobiles to bring about some of the improvements in efficiency. The workshop was organised by Institute of Informatics and Development (IID) and Development Research Network (DNET), Bangladesh.
Telephony and electricity have been always intertwined. AC (alternating current) won over DC (direct current), but DC lived on in the wireline network, where it powered the telephone independently of the electrical grid. Now, with increasing interest in data centers and in their energy efficiency, DC is coming back, according to the NYT. But those constant conversions cause power losses. For example, in conventional data centers, with hundreds of computers, electricity might be converted and “stepped down” in voltage five times before being used.
The US universal service fund is among the oldest and most inefficient, spending more on administration than comparators and not targeting the subsidies well. Our research has been cited in debates about improving it. The FCC under the Obama appointed Chair does not appear to be engaging in fundamental reforms, but is instead seeking to use the Fund as the main vehicle for executing its broadband plans. Instead of repurposing the existing funds, it is raising additional money by taxing customers of the telcos. Chief among its goals, the F.